Are you a Flybaby?  I’ve followed FlyLady since I’ve been online – way back in the 1990s!  However, it’s been many years since I’ve gotten her emails. And, it can be hard to keep up on your routines/zones without accountability. Over the years, my sister Beth and my sister-in-law Christy discovered her and I was encouraged to keep going.  But I had a hard time keeping track of what I wanted to do each day.

While searching for iPod/iPhone apps for mom’s I found this one: HomeRoutines. There was a cost – $4.99 – which I gladly paid.  Now that I have and use the app, I realize it’s worth even more than that!

Here are some of the aspects of this app that I enjoy:

  • The app is very easy to customize for your own purposes.  I tweaked my morning, midday, evening routines to fit my schedule and my routines.
  • A 15 min timer! Perfect for unpleasant jobs! And, it’s remarkable what you can get done in 15 mins!
  • Focus zones – again, completely customizable to fit my life and my home.
  • Gold stars! Woot! When I finish a task I get to reward myself with a gold star! At first I didn’t think too much about this – but now I realize that I love it! Works for my preschooler and works for me! lol

The app makers maintain a blog at http://www.homeroutines.com/blog/ where you can learn more about how others are tweaking the app to fit their needs.  One recent one I loved was the gal who tweaked the daily reminders to help here plan her meals.  You can read more about it here.

Also on their site you will find tutorials which are helpful when you are starting out.

But if you need help setting up your routines, I suggest you get Flylady’s emails or read the SideTracked Home executives books.  I’ve tweaked mine over the years to reflect our current lives…your routine has to be YOUR routine or it will not work for you.  If you want to talk it through with someone, drop me an email and I share what works for me as a homeschooling, work-at-home mom who wants to make sure her family eats well and has a restful, clean place to hang out.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from perfect, but I’ve learned some shortcuts over the years that make it much easier for me!  (hmm…maybe this should be another blog posts)

Bottom line:  HomeRoutines is a great app that can change your home and your life!  That might sound extreme, but with this tool, you can start making small changes to your life to make it more peaceful.  Who wouldn’t want that, right?! I HIGHLY recommend it to all!

Yeah, I definitely feel the need for another blog post coming on! 😉

So, I’ve had myiPod Touch for a few weeks and I’m LOVING it!  My Sister, my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law have one too and as soon as we get our taxes, I’m buying one for Eric for our anniversary in May. (remember, mine was an early anniversary present?)

I feel I should say that I never felt the need for an iPod before.  I’ve had a few MP3 players for a few year and loved them.  And, I had a Palm PDA for MANY years.  Eventually I turned in my Palm PDA and had a Palm Centro smartphone.  I loved it.  It did everything I wanted it to do – phone, calendar, contacts, ereader and much more!

But then there was the monthly cost.  I’ve been a Verizon Wireless customer for many years and very happy with them.  But with a smartphone they were going to require I pay an extra $30/month.  That is $360 per year and I just was not willing to pay that.  Instead I downsized my phone and spent less than $200 to buy the iPod Touch.  It’s not my Palm Centro (I miss the camera and video camera) but I’m very happy with it and love the apps!

Some of my favorite apps are – in no particular order:

FREE:

  • Amazon Kindle – Free.  The app is free and there are some free titles (re-reading Pride & Prejudice right now). I love this app!  I can read in bed (in the dark even!) again!  I’ve bought a book or two and both were less than $8.  I made sure I bought titles I want to re-read.
  • Lose it! – Free – A weight management tool.  Great to track your exercise, food and weight loss.
  • Just Light – Free – Do you use your phone to navigate late at night?  This is a great app for you!
  • Pandora – Free – I can listen to my channel while I work! If  you haven’t discovered Pandora yet, check it out!
  • Facebook – Free – Makes it easier to stay connected with my friends and family on Facebook.
  • Bible – Free – There were many options, but this was the one I chose because it had reading plans.  Unfortunately the first Sunday I found out that I had to have wifi to read it. (Wish my church had wifi, but that’s a topic for another day).  But once I was home again, I just downloaded a verion and now I can read the Bible anywhere!  Very happy with this app!

PAID – but well worth cost in my opinion:

  • Audiobooks (Download edition – $.99) There is a free version, but I quickly upgraded when I realized I was only able to listen when I had wifi.  The books are from Librivox – one of my favorite places online!  Great for the knitter who wants to read while they knit!
  • CalenGoo – $6.99 – By far the most I’ve spent on an app, but SO worth it!  The main thing I needed from my iPod was the ability to see my calendar wherever I am.  Since I use Google calendar that meant I had to have wifi to view it.  Until I found this program!  It automatically syncs and updates my Ipod calendar whenever I have wifi.  Then when I’m out of wifi range, it simply works as a calendar.  If I make changes when I’m away, it simply updates it when I get back home.  And, by continuing to use Google calendar, I keep my Hubs in the loop on my schedule and can invite him to attend appointments – anything from a Dr appt to date nights!  You can see screenshots and learn more about this app on their website.
  • Home Routines – I’m going to make a whole post about this one…edited to add the link to that review.
  • Words with Friends – $2.99 – scrabble with friends!  I love it! The only game I’m recommending today – it’s THAT good!
  • Knit Buddy – $2.99 – this might be the only app I’ve paid for which I’ve regretted.  I was looking and looking for an app for Ravelry. When I couldn’t find one, I bought this app.  I could not understand why Ravelry didn’t have one yet.  But then I realized with the included browser, I didn’t need an app, I can just log into Ravelry‘s site and use it with no problem.  Well, expect that I can’t use it offline. :(    But then today I was knitting away on Sissy’s new Sunday Shrug (more on that later) and was listening to podcasts (I need to update my podcast recommendations too – later, later!) .  I realized I needed a counter to help track the 22 rows of seed stitch ruffle (ugh) and remembered this.  Now I just tap the screen after each row and it keeps track of it for me.  So I’ll try to learn more about this app and maybe I will have more to recommend it later.
  • Water Your Body – $.99 – keep track of your water intake and get a grade.  I’ve YET to get over a C for the day! Working on this!  Maybe my headaches will get better if I get the water I need daily!

Later I’ll share more games and apps I’ve gotten specifically for my kids to use.